Florida had been the last state in which public employees did not contribute to their pensions; this was according to a state law passed in 1974. However,
The new employee contributions will not be used to shore up Florida's pension system, which is in relatively good shape. Instead, the estimated $1.2 billion savings will help close a $3.5 billion gap in next year's state budget.
Unions are pointing out that Gov. Rick Scott has pushed tax cuts for business despite the state's budget shortfall.
The Broward Teachers Union, which joined the lawsuit, called the Legislature’s labeling the pay cut a retirement contribution “a false premise.”
“Florida’s leaders talk ad nauseam about the need to cut taxes for businesses and the state’s wealthiest residents and yet, when it comes to our police officers, firefighters and teachers, they didn’t even blink an eye when imposing this income tax increase,” said BTU President Pat Santeramo.
Although the level at which Florida employees started out paying into their retirement system is significantly lower than the one that just passed in New Jersey, the effective pay cut coming from increased pension contributions is similar.